Your Highness review

Your Highness is a comic throwback to the fantasy films of the eighties from the creative team that brought us the stoner comedy Pineapple Express.

In a faraway magical land Prince Thadeous (McBride), waster brother of the heroic Prince Theroux (Franco), is trying the patience of King Tallious (Dance), failing to rise to his Princely duties and generally living an indolent life. Thadeous is forever under the shadow of his brother who returns from quest after quest, each time bringing back more glory than the last. Thadeous on the other hand, has caused a major diplomatic incident after romancing the wife of the Dwarf King on a simple trade mission.

Fabious returns from his latest quest with the severed head of a cyclops and the fair maiden Belladonna (Deshanel) rescued from the clutches of evil wizard Leezar (Theroux). Fabious announces he plans to wed the comely girl, but the ceremony is gate crashed by the evil Leezar. It seems Fabious' new bride is a virgin needed to complete a ritual that will birth a dragon, allowing the odious warlock to conquer the kingdom. After the kidnapping, Fabious and Thadeous set of together (accompanied by several knights, manservants, and a robotic animal sidekick) to rescue the maiden and save the kingdom. Along the way they encounter a warrior woman (Portman) also seeking revenge on the dastardly wizard and his three evil mothers (a nod to Dario Argento perhaps? David Gordon Green has been planning a Suspiria remake for some time).

Your Highness might sound like a spoof, but it really isn't. There are few direct references to other fantasy films, and the characters don't ever give the audience a wink. What it essentially is, is Krull; but Krull with a large injection of dick jokes.

Your Highness really is impressively puerile, in addition to the aforementioned dick jokes (and if there was an oscar for dick jokes this would now be an early favourite), there is schoolboy sniggering at lady parts, a surprising amount of references to semen, the imbibing of various exotic 'erbs, a magic pedo, horny monsters, a gaggle of glamour models rolled in mud, and Natalie Portman's arse (or at least a stand ins). It is all spectacularly juvenile.

Fans of McBride's self obsessed vainglorious idiot schtick should be pleased, but the rest of the cast acquit themselves well. Franco is all hair flicking gorgeousness and does a good plummy English accent, and Portman channels posh head girl whilst convincingly kicking butt (and she needs no male assistance in this). However Theroux rather steals the show in the bad guy role, gleefully telling Belladonna that her deflowering will be no issue "if your vagina is anything like my hand".

Your Highness is a rather ramshackle affair, that evokes the spirit of Hawk the Slayer often a little more accurately than was possibly the intention. However, I found it funny, and as someone with a fondness for the fantasy action tosh of yore it was a pleasant way to pass an evening.

Your Highness at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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